Our population is projected to grow by more than 3 million people by 2050—the equivalent of adding more than four Denver-sized cities to our state! With this growth will come challenges that could result in rising housing prices, increased traffic, diminished air quality and more. But with bold leadership and bold action, not only can we tackle these challenges, we can harness Colorado’s growth to enhance the quality of life for all residents and visitors to the state and, in the process, dramatically improve conditions for people on bicycles.
Our strategic plan will allow us to better support bicycling in Colorado. But while our work spans a spectrum, what we do ultimately comes down to addressing two fundamental issues:
Add to our projected population growth the ever-increasing number of people visiting Colorado for business and leisure, and we will see more vehicles and bicycles vying for limited space. Factor in distracted driving—which is approaching an epidemic level—and the riding behaviors of some bicyclists, and it becomes clear that we must take action to secure the safety of all people on our roads and paths.
More people riding bicycles for transportation and recreation is good for Colorado. Any person who wants to ride a bicycle, be it for fun or exercise or to get around town, should be able to do so conveniently and without fear of injury. Unfortunately, this is not the current reality—barriers exist based on age, gender, race, physical ability and economic status. We must and we will accelerate our work to remove these barriers.
That’s where we’ll focus the majority of our work. We’ve also updated our vision and mission; our beliefs; our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion; and our core values as part of our strategic plan.
This is a unique moment in time, one that holds the potential to make Colorado the gold standard for bicycling. At a low cost, the bicycle can address traffic congestion, environmental degradation and declining physical and mental well-being, and it can connect people to opportunities and resources they otherwise couldn’t access. To seize this moment, we must think differently about, and ultimately change, how we move about our communities, be that by bicycle, scooter, foot, bus, train or some yet-to-be discovered mode of transportation. This requires changing how we design and construct our public spaces so we have more and better infrastructure to ride and walk safely in our neighborhoods.
The bicycle, a fundamentally simple machine, can make Colorado an even more vibrant place to live for all current and future residents. To unleash its full potential, Bicycle Colorado will work tirelessly with new and existing partners to ensure that every ride for every person is safe and convenient.
We believe this plan sets us on a path to do so.
We envision a Colorado where riding a bicycle is always safe and convenient for everyone, where bicycling is the top choice for recreation and everyday trips, and where the benefits of bicycling are experienced and valued by all people in our state.
Our mission is to lead a passionate and growing movement that champions the interests of everyone who rides or wants to ride a bicycle in our state.
How we conduct ourselves is as important as the strategies we will implement to realize our vision. Our core values are:
We value and seek purposeful long-term partnerships, to work with organizations and communities to make a positive impact and connect others so they can form valued partnerships as well.
We take a stand on issues important to people who ride bikes, and do so with humility.
We take risks to discover new and creative ways to accomplish our goals, even when confronted with unforeseen challenges.
We are curious, open-minded, active listeners, eager to improve and willing to learn.
We use our skill and passion to ensure all people on bikes are treated equitably in Colorado.
We are transparent, honest and do what we say.
We value and proactively engage people of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, and we act with kindness and respect.
Combined with our core values, the following beliefs comprise the foundation of our work.
We are dedicated to ensuring that Bicycle Colorado and our movement are diverse, equitable and inclusive. As a statewide organization, it is our responsibility to thoughtfully serve and represent all Coloradans who want to ride bicycles; doing so makes our movement stronger. It is also, simply, the right thing to do.
To meet this commitment, we will deepen our understanding of and prioritize our work in these areas. By building new and existing partnerships and elevating the voices of underrepresented populations, we will identify, understand and remove barriers—starting with those embedded in our own organization—that prevent all people from experiencing the many benefits of bicycling. We will proceed with humility and empathy; seek out and actively listen to all perspectives; examine, question and learn from our assumptions and biases; and encourage our current members and supporters to join us on this journey.
Every person, regardless of their zip code, should be able to ride a bicycle conveniently and without fear of injury. This requires that Bicycle Colorado and leaders at all levels of government understand the concerns of bicyclists, think differently about the use of public space and lead change, even when such change is not politically advantageous.
Regardless of mode, everyone—and especially adults—has a responsibility to keep each other safe on our public rights-of-way. We will work to fill gaps in knowledge, skills and awareness through our education programs and partnerships, and pursue long-term statewide solutions so that users of roads, paths and trails are informed, confident and accountable. Additionally, we will strive to help every child in Colorado learn to ride a bicycle safely.
The public’s dominant views of bicycling and what it means to be a bicyclist must change. A “bicyclist” should be any person who rides any type of bicycle for any purpose. We also must change beliefs on how best to travel throughout our communities, with the bicycle as a viable and mainstream mode of transportation for local trips.
The impact we have, including our ability to create safe and convenient places to ride for everyone, is directly connected to the size, diversity and inclusiveness of the movement and the actions that members take. We must encourage and make it easy for any person or organization to join the movement and take action in ways that are meaningful to them and that advance our shared cause.
Delivering results requires that Bicycle Colorado be a great place to work. We will attract and cultivate people who offer diverse perspectives and have a passion for bicycling and community building; we will provide every team member opportunities and support to make a difference, to learn new skills and to grow their career; and we will develop a values-based culture and sustainable systems and structures to maximize our impact.
The number of people who ride bikes for recreation and transportation grows
People choose to ride bikes for recreation and transportation more often
The number of bike crashes, injuries and fatalities decreases
Bicycling brings more money to Colorado’s economy
We will analyze these metrics to understand our impact on different populations (e.g., race, gender) and geographic areas (e.g., rural, urban), and report on our progress against these metrics and the strategic goals described below.